There are no two ways about it; videos on Facebook are becoming incredibly powerful. In fact, they are arguably becoming a necessity for any brand that wants to reach and engage with an audience. Recent research suggests this, and a number of brands are being open about their approach to video advertising on the platform. With so much changing in the world of Facebook right now, video seems to be the only thing that is consistently delivering the goods for businesses.
But there is a catch, and to many businesses it will seem like more of a disaster. When Facebook videos that are native to the platform (i.e. not simply linked to but instead published on the platform itself) show up in someone’s feed, they are silent. You have to physically click on Facebook videos to hear any sound at all. Sounds like branding suicide, right?
Not when there are 1.4 billion active users on the platform, and that’s monthly active users. There are so many eyeballs out there right now online, and Facebook is quickly pulling these viewers in with video. Last year the biggest viral video was the Ice Bucket Challenge. And that was entirely driven by Facebook views.
iVillage Australia connect with you
It’s hard to say why exactly this video works. But we think it’s because it has a baby in it. Everyone can immediately identify with a baby and how he or she moves. And on top of that, this taps into the ‘home video’ feel you get on YouTube. Everyone can connect, basically.
It makes you laugh, and it makes you feel slightly worried for the baby’s safety during at least two moments. So it’s comedy and drama all mixed into one. And it allows iVillage to seem like a company that is ‘real’.
This video works because it taps into daily, ordinary life. We all know babies, and we all know home videos that are funny. It creates an instant connection with the vast majority of the Facebook audience.
Proof, then, that you can shoot a grainy home video and use it to convey a branding message.
Hotels.com manage to get it perfect
A number of companies now understand that Facebook has massive potential, and that this potential can be realized by uploading videos directly to the platform. And they avoid the big ‘catch’ of no volume in some very creative ways.
Let’s take the recent campaign by Hotels.com. This company didn’t run away from the fact that Facebook videos have no immediate sound. Instead, it embraced it with a very clever video that took advantage of the new way of doing things.
The video ‘interpreter’ features the main ‘mascot’ of the brand, Captain Obvious. He is joined by an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. If the video is not clicked, subtitles play on the screen so the marketing message is shown. At the same time, the ASL interpreter ‘speaks’ to those who can understand ASL. Those who get what she is saying get a special surprise. If you understand her, you can type ‘gift me’ into the comments and receive a gift card.
At the same time, if the sound is on, you hear Captain Obvious talking about the app the company has.
There is another spot, called ‘Piano’. This spot very simply shows Captain Obvious looking like he is playing a beautiful piano solo. At least that’s what it looks like, because if you turn the sound on, his piano playing leaves much to be desired. All the while, subtitles send you a message too.
What’s happening here? Well, Hotels.com are disrupting the silent effect of Facebook videos, giving viewers clear marketing messages even if there is no sound. On top of that they are rewarding viewers who are curious, fascinated, and also if they know ASL.
Lowe’s Home Improvement work on quick visual
Lowe’s Home Improvement is a company that has worked hard on Facebook videos.
The company has recently managed to perfect one of the key aspects of a good FB video, and this ad shows the skills they are bringing to the table.
Notice how you can watch the ad and see the products at their best without having to click on the ad for sound. The sound brings the advice to your experience, but you can still get that initial impact and that appreciation of the products without having to click on anything.
It’s highly visual, and it really shows you the products at their best.
Nissan simply thrills with no need for words
Nissan have pulled it out of the bag here with a high quality video that shows genuinely thrilling imagery. You can obviously choose to play it with the music or without.
Either way, the quick, exciting imagery makes for an absolutely fantastic video that conveys the marketing message.
This is all about the thrills that Nissan cars bring to their audience and their customers. The video imagery alone does everything you could want it to do.
The key here is stunning imagery that removes the need for explanatory speech.
Dove connects with a core message
Dove makes soap. But they don’t just make soap. They elicit feelings and emotions from their customers. The biggest thing that Dove has worked on is the attempt to get their customers feeling better about their body shape. They haven’t hidden away from it and it has formed the core message of their marketing campaigns.
So this video works because it does everything that good strong Facebook video marketing should do. It uses powerful imagery, and it keeps everything really simple.
The words work at the end because there isn’t a lot to read,and the whole concept is clear: Dove wants you and your daughter to feel beautiful. It resonates, and it’s simple. You can watch it in just over 30 seconds and completely understand what Dove is about and why they are talking to you on Facebook
Insurgent was a big movie and Lionsgate could see the potential, so it ensured that the very first sneak peek trailer for the movie was released only on Facebook. This way, people had to go to the Facebook page to see the trailer.
A risky move? Not really. The movie had a pre-created fan base due to the novels, and this meant that word-of-mouth was already there. It also meant that people would actually go to the Facebook page first before they looked anywhere else.
This gave the page a certain amount of exclusivity, and it meant that fans were able to work up a lot of buzz before the movie even hit the cinema.
The lesson here is simple. When you are thinking of using auto play videos on Facebook, which have to be chosen to be watched by the audience, make sure you don’t put the video anywhere else. This gives people a reason to click.
Making the video bright, colorful and persuasive
Target did a great job on this for a Valentine’s Day campaign. Knowing that people associate certain colors with Valentine’s Day, they all but saturated the ad with reds and pinks. Then they slathered it in cool, cute music. The kind of electro pop that makes people think of sugar.
And that meant the mood created by the video would make the audience think of fun, sugary times and sensations, and link that with the bubblegum aspect of Valentine’s Day. The day is meant to be fun most of the time, rather than serious and heavy, and they aligned their brand with this feeling.
The video effectively persuades people to shop at Target through color, music, and a particular mood. Sometimes it’s best to go back to the old-fashioned idea behind advertising and simply persuade the audience that you are worth buying from.
Mickey (and Disney) trade on rock solid branding
This video works a treat. The entire premise hangs upon the idea that the characters are so iconic that their shadows can instantly make a connection with the passing public.
It also used some clear branding notes on fun and fairytales, the kind of notes Disney fans respond to. Smart and funny, it works because shadows don’t need sound to have an impact (which is perfect for the platform the video is on).
If you have a strong fan base and a brand that works, don’t work too hard. Give them the logo/mascot and use video creatively to get your message across.
Marks and Spencer gets straight to what it’s audience wants
David Gandy is a very popular male model and perhaps the reasons for this are obvious. Marks and Spencer is a major UK retailer that often uses recognisable, attractive models in its marketing. The company knows full well that David has a huge fan base and is a strong brand in himself, so they use this cleverly.
With this ad, nine out of ten people are going to click on it simply because there is nothing else but David Gandy talking. There are no text interrupts, just simple and honest Gandy content. And because that is what most of the Marks and Spencer audience actually wants to see, it works flawlessly.
Give the audience exactly what they want to see, immediately, and people will click on your video.
A new dawn in advertising. Are you ready?
A funny thing has happened here. Facebook ostensibly state that they want fewer interruptions for their audience, however advertising is interruption. So on the face of it, making people want to click is a little unfair to advertisers. It’s hard work and it’s just not what advertising is (traditionally) all about.
But notice how the companies highlighted in this article have taken on the challenge with Facebook video advertising, and done exactly what the modern consumer (and the Facebook platform) demands.
They’ve made viewers want to click.